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Gay activists in Cuba demand that parliament respect their rights

BY JUAN O. TAMAYO, JTAMAYO@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM

Cuban gay activists held a kiss-in demonstration and presented a demand for respect to the country’s parliament on Thursday, as they prepared for the upcoming island’s second annual Gay Pride parade.

Fifty people — mostly gay rights activists but also a handful of dissidents such as Guillermo Fariñas and Martha Beatriz Roque — signed a petition calling for civil rights and handed it to the National Assembly of People’s Power, said Ignacio Estrada, a gay activist and dissident.

“Our document calls on the Cuban government to fully comply with international agreements it has signed on human rights, especially those that apply to LGBT rights,” Estrada said after delivering the petition.

The petition also calls on lawmakers to launch an investigation of the Military Units to Aid Production, or UMAPs — hard-labor camps created by Fidel Castro during the 1960s to detain homosexuals and government critics — and requests trials for government officials responsible for the camps.

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